ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – COVID-19 has put the brakes on the Parkway School District’s plan to allow younger students to attend class in person five days a week.
Students in grades kindergarten through eighth have been back to school here part-time for a couple weeks, virtual learning from home, and in-class learning at their school.
The pandemic is taking its toll. Hundreds of educators and students are in quarantine.
“In the last week we’ve seen a significant increase in positive cases, transmissions, and, frankly, quarantine,” said Dr. Keith Marty, superintendent of the Parkway School District.
Twenty-two of 23 Parkway Elementary and Middle schools have positive cases and quarantines.
More than 300 students are under a 14-day quarantine. More than 80 teachers and staff have been affected by the illness.
Next week, kindergarten through eighth grade students were supposed to return to classes full-time, but that has been put on hold.
“I think in this instance it’s a great call on the district’s part with the COVID cases spiking right now,” said Parkway parent Steven Shane.
Shane’s two daughters are split on virtual and in-class learning.
Meanwhile, Parkway will go ahead and permit high school students to begin hybrid learning next week.
“We can properly use protocols social distance to a point and keep our students safe,” Marty said.
Educators have noticed students’ behavior has improved during the pandemic.
“We’re seeing less discipline problems in schools actually,” Marty said.
Although some 400 hundred students, staff, and teachers are in quarantine, 53 have tested positive.